We cannot verify your location
Browse Book and Journal Content on Project MUSE

Amchitka and the Bomb

Nuclear Testing in Alaska

by Dean W. Kohlhoff

Publication Year: 2002

“Amchitka and the Bomb reconstructs thoroughly the decision by the Atomic Energy Commission to use Amchitka Island in the Aleutians as a test site for nuclear missile weaponry . . . utterly disregarding the fact that the island was a wildlife refuge. It will be an important contribution to environmental and Alaska studies and to national defense studies.” - Stephen Haycox, University of Alaska, Anchorage

Published by: University of Washington Press


pdf iconDownload PDF
p. v

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
p. vii

Dean Kohlhoff died on June 12, 1997, before he had a chance to complete final revisions on his manuscript for Amchitka and the Bomb. Because we knew that Dean's greatest unfulfilled wish was to have his story of the environmental consequences of nuclear testing on Amchitka Island told, ...

read more


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. ix-x

In the 1960s and early 1970s, three underground nuclear tests were carried out on Amchitka Island, a small island in the Aleutian Chain. Each blast had its own name - Long Shot, Milrow, and Cannikin - but the name Amchitka became a code word for all of them. Although these tests were the only ones ...

read more

1. Among the Many Islands

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 3-12

Alaska is an exceptional place by any realistic standards. It is the biggest state in the Union. It holds the most islands, the highest mountains, the largest glaciers, and the greatest number of active volcanoes over any of the other States. Although it was once only a small outpost in the old Russian empire, Alaska is now ...

read more

2. On an Anvil of War

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 13-25

World War II. which began officially for the United States with the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in December 1941. came to the Aleutians in 1942. On June 3 and 4, American military installations at Dutch Harbor on Amaknak Island in Unalaska Bay were bombed by Japanese planes. ...

read more

3. Before a Mighty Windstorm

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 26-39

The war that marked Amchitka so decidedly ended in fiery devastation and ensuing death to thousands of people in enemy territories across the globe. In February 1945, bombs dropped on Dresden by 2,570 Allied planes took at least 35,000 German lives and ignited a conflagration visible for 200 miles. ...

read more

4. Nuclear Alaska

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 40-47

The predicament of the human and the bear-the trapper and the trapped - is a fitting symbol of the nuclear age. "We" had the bomb, but it just as surely had "us:' Which one really dominated, the man or the bomb, was difficult to know. In Native lore, the uneasy relationship between man and bear taught a lesson ...

read more

5. Under Rufus & Larkspur Scrutiny

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 48-54

During the 1960s, the unabated arms race with the Soviet Union continued to produce new weapons technologies that required field testing as a preliminary to actual arms production. As the destructive power of these proposed weapons grew, the problem of finding suitable test sites expanded proportionately. ...

read more

6. During a Long Shot

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 55-67

At first glance, the successful negotiation of the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963 might appear to have been largely the product of a panic reaction to the threat posed by the Cuban Missile Crisis. In reality, however, improved means of nuclear test detection, coupled with a genuine desire on the part of both ...

read more

7. Through Milrow Calibration

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 68-88

Had Operation Long Shot succeeded in discovering a means by which underground nuclear tests could be detected, the history of the postwar arms race might have been written differently. As it was, the hole left by that failure in the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty simply encouraged a new round of weapons development. ...

read more

8. For Safeguard Security

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 89-97

By the end of the 1960s, the shape of the argument over nuclear testing in Alaska had begun to take recognizable form. On the one side were the advocates of military preparedness, veteran cold warriors for the most part, who felt that security issues occupied the highest rank among national priorities. ...

read more

9. Amid More Cannikin Controversy

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 98-108

The controversy that surrounded the final nuclear test held in Alaska, Shot Cannikin, was fueled by a combination of fears of the unknown occasioned by Cannikin's size and an accumulation of frustration and anger suffered by those whose questions about the safety of nuclear explosions had been ...

read more

10. Beyond the Last Bomb

pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 109-117

On the evening before the Cannikin blast, members of the Auke Tribe, headquartered in Juneau, raised the stakes one notch higher in another last-minute attempt to stop the test. They called the president's attention to the TIingit traditional belief that all of the islands in the Aleutians were imbued with spirit. ...


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 118-156


pdf iconDownload PDF
pp. 157-166

E-ISBN-13: 9780295800509
E-ISBN-10: 029580050X
Print-ISBN-13: 9780295982557
Print-ISBN-10: 0295982551

Publication Year: 2002

OCLC Number: 748573895
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Amchitka and the Bomb

Research Areas


UPCC logo

Subject Headings

  • Nuclear weapons -- Testing -- Environmental aspects -- Alaska -- Amchitka Island.
  • Nuclear weapons -- Testing -- Alaska -- Amchitka Island.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1945-1989.
  • Amchitka Island (Alaska) -- History -- 20th century.
  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access